Scheduled for November, the visit includes stops in Baghdad, Mosul, Erbil and Najaf. A face to face with Ali al-Sistani is under consideration. Iraq’s postal service has issued stamps commemorating the Pope’s visit and his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf. For Chaldean Patriarch Sako, the Pope opened Iraq’s doors to the world and restored the country’s central role.
At the general audience, Francis retraces the stages of the trip to Budapest and Slovakia, "a pilgrimage of prayer, a pilgrimage to the roots, a pilgrimage of hope." Roots "not as museum exhibits, not ideologized and instrumentalized for interests of prestige and power, to consolidate a closed identity. No." "Violence against women is an open sore. It’s everywhere."
In his homily at Sunday Mass, the cardinal criticizes an operation that substitutes Shiite militiamen for the state. The invitation to the new government to address and resolve the "deterioration" of the economy and institutions. We need to fight "smuggling" and begin "reforms" to ensure a future for the country, starting with schools.
Initially the site in al-Jawf was thought to be 2,000 years old. New research found life-size images of camel carved in red sandstone to date back 8,000 years. Increasingly focusing on tourism, Saudi Arabia plans to build a 50,000-square-metre resort in the al-Baha region. The goal is to reach 10 per cent of GDP.
Fr Palinuro’s ordination is scheduled for 7 December in a ceremony led by Card Sandri with his entrance in the Cathedral of Holy Spirit 11 days later. Fr Andrea Santoro’s legacy means remembering that evangelization is "a risk" to be taken "without fear" while keeping "doors open". He can start with an established relationship with the ecumenical patriarch while the dialogue with Islam will be a great challenge.
Cambodia extends vaccination campaign to children under six. The aim is to immunize 91 per cent of the population and reopen the tourism sector. China and the UAE plan to vaccinate three-year-old. Hong Kong lawmakers turn to Pfizer for a third jab after no antibodies detected from Chinese vaccine.
A convoy of dozens of tanker trucks crossed the Syrian border at Hermel yesterday morning. The pro-Iranian Shiite movement celebrated the entry as a victory. The crude oil will be distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, water plants and the Red Cross. Experts speak of "state conquest" by Hezbollah.
‘The Congregation for Religious is examining the religious congregations and associations created in this period.” Among the latter, many have been placed under external control. Positions of governance in lay groups are a “call to serve” that runs up against a hunger for power and disloyalty.
WHO director general is in Lebanon today and tomorrow to vet the country’s “unprecedented complex crisis”. In August, dozens of cancer patients protested in front of the UN offices. For Caritas director Fr Abboud, the basic problem is “corruption” in a nation “plundered” by politicians. Yet, hope lives on, as does solidarity.
Economic aid and commercial opening in exchange for the fight against the network of Fethullah Gülen, Erdogan's arch-enemy. The "Gulenists" have a strong presence in Central Asia. The goal is to bring trade to the billion dollar mark. Expert: the Turks act like masters in Kyrgyzstan.
The measure affects some 30 prisoners for crimes of opinion or thought. A recent amendment by the monarch provides for alternative sentences to prison at any time of sentencing. Some detainees had ended up in cells while still underage. Of 3,800 total detainees, at least 1,400 are political prisoners.
Christians “are weavers of dialogue where hostility is growing; models of fraternal life where society is experiencing tension and hostility; bringers of the sweet fragrance of hospitality and solidarity where personal and collective selfishness too often prevails, protectors and guardians of life where the culture of death reigns.”
The 64-yer-old from Chanay is married with four children. He will succeed Sheikh Naim Hassan when the latter’s mandate expires on 5 November. For many he is a man of openness, peace and dialogue, in the spirit of fraternity espoused by Pope Francis. Sources close to Druze leader Walid Jumblatt denounce attempts to "impose" someone close to Syria.
A document published by a UN panel of experts speaks of worsening violence and human rights violations. Government forces responsible for arbitrary detentions and abuses, even in areas controlled by rebels and extremist groups. A decade after the beginning of the conflict, the parties "continue to perpetrate war crimes".
“Judgement and prejudice only increase distances. Hostility and sharp words are not helpful. Marginalizing others accomplishes nothing. Segregating ourselves and other people eventually leads to anger. The path to peaceful coexistence is integration,” said Francis. What is more, “Bombarded by virtual messages, we risk losing our real roots,” he added. “To grow disconnected from life, or to fantasize in a void, is not a good thing; it is a temptation from the evil one. God wants us to be firmly grounded, connected to life.”